Police: State employee tried to hire hitman to kill wife

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A Thurston County man is being held without bail after he allegedly tried to solicit a hitman to murder his wife.

Brian Cox was booked into jail Tuesday for investigation of criminal solicitation to commit murder.

Tumwater police began investigating the 54-year-old Department of Financial Institutions employee late last month after a confidential source came forward to tell detectives Cox had offered him money to kill Cox's estranged wife.

"At this point, with the messiness of their divorce, I think it's mostly money-motivated, but I don't think that's all of it," said Det. Jen Kolb with the Tumwater Police Department.

Police won't say how much money Cox allegedly offered or how he planned to carry out the murder.

After learning of the alleged plot, police had to break the news to Cox's estranged wife.

"She was absolutely stunned and obviously devastated because this is not an everyday occurrence," Kolb said.

Once police began their investigation, they used recorded phone conversations and video surveillance to keep track of Cox.

"We tried to make sure that we knew where he was at or where he was going," Kolb said.

Court records show the estranged wife petitioned the court in January for a protection order. It was granted in March while the couple's divorce proceedings continued.